This review does not include all Swedish environmental laws and regulations, but summarize a few that might be relevant for new Uppsala residents to know.
Waste from your home
In Sweden, waste is lawfully seen as a resource. Only less than 1 percent of all of our waste is placed in landfills.
Every household (= everyone) are legally responsible for separating the waste as, food waste, glass, metal, paper, magazines, plastic and household waste.
Every household (=everyone) also are legally responsible for depositing it at the available collection points (like ÅVC, FTI stations or a “miljöbod” by your building).
The municipality is legally responsible to care for all waste from the households, but it’s the house owner (the landlord) that are legally bound to provide bins for collecting the household waste and food waste.
“Responsibility of the producer” is a concept in Sweden where producers of a product are responsible to provide ability to recycle the following: any packaging of a product, batteries, tires, cars, electronic waste, pharmaceuticals, magazines or printed papers.
This has resulted in “pant” on some of these objects, meaning that you pay a deposit on top of the prize for the product. The deposit you get back when its handed back in for recycling. You will notice this with most cans and bottles. “Panta” them at the supermarket and you will get your money back.
It´s illegal to litter in Sweden! If caught you can get penalties or up to a year in prison. This included littering on purpose and littering by negligence (being careless or thoughtless). Even small amounts on the streets can give you a fine of 800SEK. Litter include all types of waste, like cigarette buds, gum and tissues.
Our drinking water and testing
Our tap water that comes from the water works in Sweden is strictly tested with strict measures from laws and regulations. This means that the water in your tap is the most controlled and regulated food/drink you will consume in Sweden. The water is tested, from the source of the aquafer to the tap in your home. But this only refers to cold water. Water gets heated when it reaches your building, compromising the quality as warm water is more attractive for bacteria growth. The quality and testing of the heated water in your building is therefore left to responsibility of the landlord. That’s why you should never drink or cook with warm water from the tap. Always use cold water for any consumption!
If your house have its own well for drinking water, you are recommended to test it regularly. You are not lawfully bound to test it, but it’s strongly recommended. The quality of your well´s water is not tested by, nor under the responsibility of, Uppsala vatten.
We have our own laboratory where you can buy the service of testing your water. Collect your test bottles and ask more by visiting the laboratory: Monday-Friday 8.00-16.00 at Danmarksgatan 26C in Uppsala or call on 018-727 94 50 (closed during lunch 12.00-12.30).
In Sweden, you have to follow “Allemansrätten” (the right of public access) when in nature. This means you can enjoy all the Swedish nature quite freely, but you have to keep to the conduct of do not disturb or destroy. Always leave the area you visited as untouched as possible and NEVER leave any trash behind.